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AL West: Is This The Best You've Got?

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Welcome to Grumpyville, population: 1. I tend to write about whatever rolls around in my mind during a game, and today I was struck by just how bad these two teams really are if you dare to watch closely.

Your Oakland A's

The A's really need to move Nick Swisher to first base, just to get his 63 IQ out of the outfield. Let's see...Great exuberance leading to terrible judgment and a tendency to miss the cutoff man like clockwork...Didn't we rid ourselves of Eric Byrnes? Meanwhile, the A's feature another "key guy," in Bobby Crosby, who makes adjustments at a rate normally associated with continental drift. Our leadoff hitter gets thrown out at the plate from second on 23-hoppers to left field with two-out. And when the team finally faces a starting pitcher who is wobbly, they scratch out 5 hits. Nice.

Your Rival Angels

If the Angels don't win the AL West, it will be because they bobbled it and threw it away. The team with the league's second most errors can't even prepare for the easy stuff--like knowing that since Frank Thomas is at first, any ball hit to SS is an automatic throw to second. And nobody can overmanage a game like Mike Scioscia. I have always felt the suicide squeeze was the most overrated play in baseball. If the infield is back, the run is being conceded a million ways anyway, and if the infield is in, your batter has suddenly become about a .370 hitter if you let him swing--and if he fails the next batter still has a chance to drive in the run. The Angels seem to require the opposition to get only 25 outs most days, which can really jump up to bite you against teams capable of scoring 5 runs.

And to think, one of these teams will probably represent the AL West in the post-season. Good grief.